Cherub Worlds 1974

The 1974 Worlds featured everything from drifting conditions to force 6 winds. Fortunes changed continuously during the series, but in the end 17 year old Amanda Wilmot came away with World Champion, Junior and Ladies' trophies. Sunday

A Force 6 led to 26 retirements from a 54 boat fleet, mostly with rudder gear failures and split chines. The most significant was probably Nicola Bethwaite's retirement with a broken daggerboard. . New Zealander Mark Paterson in Queenie SJB won, with fellow Kiwi Trevor Nye second, and Brits Tony and Jill Hows limping over the line in 3rd place with a chine failure. Monday Force 2 to 3, and the Australians Amanda Wilmot and Nicola Bethwaite gave notice of what was to come, taking an early lead and fighting the rest of the race well clear of the pack. The flat narrow wing masted Bethwaite design was notably quick upwind, while the glass deeper vee conventionally sparred Jet was flying on the downhill legs. Wilmot eventually took the race, with another Australian, David Pfeiffer third and Brit Dave Finch 4th. Tuesday.

Bethwaite's Slithy Tove led from start to finish in another F2-3, winning by more than 4 minutes. Wilmot was second, Pfeiffer third and Paterson 4th. Wednesday saw another F6, and the rescue facilities rapidly became overstretched. The race committee took a very controversial decision to abandon the race with Paterson leading from the Hows at the end of lap one. Thursday brought light airs which suited Wilmot nicely, leading from start to finish. Paterson was a close second, with Brits Kim Powell and Peter Caisley 3rd and 4th. Bethwaite was 5th, and had a DSQ to count, so Wilmot took the series lead. Friday.

Two races were sailed in lightish airs. Wilmot took the first, with Bethwaite second and Hows third. Paterson missed a win in the second race with a kite snaggle at the last mark, and Pfeiifer took the race, with Bethwaite 3rd and Hows 4th. This left Wilmot just leading from Bethwaite, with Paterson 3rd as they came to the line for the last race. Therace committee set a rather ambitious course in the light airs, and to what must have been considerable Kiwi fury abandoned the race with Paterson just two minutes from the line when the four hour time limit expired.

The Technical Overview from Sea Spray Magazine NZ. talks about the Australians having a definite boat speed advantage, with winner Mandy Wilmot having a big downwind advantage, and the Bethwaite wing masted boats having superb moderate wind upwind performance. Nicola herself reckons that she had both rig and boatspeed advantages and gives the impression she now believes she lost out in mental preparation as much as any other factor. On the other hand with rather more luck Mark Paterson could have won three races and probably the series.

British reports comment on the odd Australian habit of having the crew take the mainsheet upwind, and also on Andrew Buckland's superlative crewing. Andrew later went on to a very significant career in 18footers, amongst other things coming up with the idea of the bowsprit launched asymetric spinnaker.

All the antipodeans reckoned the British boats were slow. However many of the Brits seem to have felt at the time that they were outclassed mainly in sailing ability and rigs, and that the southern hemisphere hull shapes were no better. As well as the wing rigs the Antipodean sails were generally stiffer and flatter, with larger spinnakers made of lighter cloth. The Kiwi report, however, reckons that it was only the Hows' sailing ability that kept them anywhere near the visitors in spite of a major lack of boatspeed. Having sailed against the Hows in their heyday I can say that on their day their boathandling could be awesomely good, and hindsight indicates that the British had much more to learn about hull shape than they believed.

Jim Champ

Helm Crew Country Boat Design Sail No Name
1. Amanda Wilmot Andrew Buckland Aus Wilmot? KA2180 Jet
2. Nicola Bethwaite Ian Hobbs Aus Bethwaite KA1900 Slithy Tove
3. Mark Paterson Brett Bennett N.Z. Farr mk 2 KZ1982 Queenie S.J.B.
4 David Pfeiffer Tim Nicolson Aus Bethwaite ? Tachycardia
5 Tony Hows Jill Hows GB Forman 4d K2350 Peanuts

We don't have any pictures from the event, but here are photos from two of the boats from 2002 and 2006

Queenie S.J.B

Queenie S.J.B at the boat show Queenie S.J.B Queenie S.J.B at the boat show Queenie S.J.B at the boat show Queenie S.J.B


Peanuts at the 2006 Nationals Peanuts at the 2006 Nationals Peanuts at the 2006 Nationals Peanuts at the 2006 Nationals

  • history/1974-worlds.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/10/11 09:28
  • by phil_alderson